Current Exhibition

Emory & Henry College Student Exhibition:
Mary Chura & Lorin Zehr

Visual art students at Emory & Henry display a rare creative and entrepreneurial spirit that starts with a unique hands-on approach to learning from our award-winning faculty. This expertise carries on long after graduation and into the professional world. Each individual explores a rich array of approaches toward creating while investing original ideas through painting, drawing, photography, collage, graphic design, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, mixed media, and any number of combinations of art-making techniques.

We are proud to present their research at the McGlothlin Center for the Arts.

Mary Chura

Artist Statement

Devils Backbone, watercolor and ink on paper, 2021 Devils Backbone, watercolor and ink on paper, 2021As a young girl I began drawing -terrible frankly, little horse sketches in the margins of my notebooks. Eventually, I found a how-to guide for drawing horses and other animals, and eventually I moved on to other beloved animals and then to landscapes and scenery around me. Nature themes remain prevalent in my work, and animals have always remained a common subject. I enjoy recreating natural environments to which I’ve been witness, giving them an illustrative feeling through my use of line. My pieces often utilize detailed line work and a variety of line weights working together within a composition.

To me reality exists, even if you decide to stop believing in it. Things we imagine or create may yield to our desires, but reality is stubborn. When I depict subjects that are not realistically scaled or utilize symbols, I am creating something that is to me surreal because these things exist within my imagination and fulfill my desire to emphasize nature. I often mesh surreal elements such as large, scaled plants, animals or faunal remains with a natural landscape. Natural landscapes and symbols are appealing to me because I have always felt drawn to exploring nature. I believe that humans are most connected to themselves when they are connected to nature. Connection to the natural world is one of the most important parts of the human experience to me, and I believe that by depicting aspects of nature as larger than life I am emphasizing the importance of nature to the viewer.

I enjoy depicting humans as well, particularly faces, as I am interested in emotions such as grief, sadness and curiosity and how they can connect us to each other and our environment. When I depict human beings within my pieces they often are not based on anatomical correctness or striving to look realistic, rather they have illustrative elements such as waving lines meant to convey an emotion or atmosphere. Drawing gives me a place to alter my reality and recreate it as a tangible piece. I often use a semi realistic landscape as a starting point and recreate it with new elements that I feel intensify it, such as large, scaled subjects or symbols that have personal meaning. I use the same approach with my depictions of humans, a realistic starting point with added elements such as lines to create an emotion and feeling I want the viewer to understand.


Lorin Zehr

Artist Statement

Roggy, archival inkjet print, 2019 Roggy, archival inkjet print, 2019The idea that everything must come to an end has always been one that has always fascinated me, that one day you will set something down and never pick it up again, that somethings that were used everyday are now just left to rot, and that all things and situations are temporary in some form or fashion. The thought of where I came from or what led up to my existence has never really left my mind. How do these subjects connect? I grew up never really knowing my father’s side of the family for many reasons; this led to many questions in my mind of who I really am. With this collection of photographs I have captured the final hours of where my family began, but also the start of my understanding of who I am.

I find that color plays a large part in how I view the contents of my photographs; color always has been something that I have struggled with, and when colors are present I tend to get lost in them and focus, not on the subject itself, but instead on how the colors that are present work with each other, leading me to miss the composition and intentionality of work - so how did I choose fix that? Strip the color away, leaving behind the image I intended.

The subjects and spaces that I am drawn to photograph are high in texture and provoke a certain uneasy feeling when looked at but, at the same time, can be recognized as something that was once beautiful and needed. I have an odd relationship which invokes in me a full range of emotions, depending on the surface of the subjects that I choose to photograph. The spaces that I tend to gravitate towards are those that have been abandoned or forgotten after being busy and full of life. By photographing these locations, I hope that my images also will serve as a way of documenting a vanishing life that is soon to be only a memory.


View the Artalk: April 4, 2022